With all the changes Ning has made in the past year or so, I'm curious to know what, if anything, people are using now?  Is Ning Mini working out for you?  Have you found a comparable site with another provider? 

 

I am mostly interested in free sites... of the ones you've looked at what are the pros and cons?  Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Tags: Ning, networks, social

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I think Ning remains the best and I'm disappointed that it has become so limited. Oddly, I was never approved for a Pearson Educational sponsorship here in Canada. I turned to grou.ps as an alternative. http://grou.ps/wikistange/ It has not been as stable as Ning. Frankly, I'm seriously considering a Facebook group next year. I teach grades 5 - 6 at the moment and many of them have Facebook. I think I might be able to convince my parents to agree to that option. This year I established a posterous blog for my grade two's http://wikistange.posterous.com/ I did it wrong. Apparently there is a group posterous. I'll look into that some time.

Try Edmodo. Someone on this very network suggested it to me after I posted my same frustrations with Ning's decision to monetize and restrict use of my current site. http://www.edmodo.com/

 

I am using Ning Mini sponsored by Pearson but I can't upload any videos anymore and the live chat feature has been disabled. I also have to approve every blog before it shows up on the site. I would like to be able to trust my students to post the right thing and find this last problem to be quite frustrating as it takes away the "immediacy" that students crave. The chat feature's disappearance is also upsetting as I used to use it when I had to be away from school. For example, when I went down to Boston last May to interview danah boyd for my documentary I was able to live chat with my students to clarify instructions and help them trouble-shoot during their regular class time.

 

My school board has opened up Facebook but it is socially driven rather than subject driven so I'm still not sure I want to move everything over. I do currently use it for quick notes but I'm not sure how far I want to go with it. With ning, I was able to put up daily work. Not sure I want to do this with Facebook.

Isn't Posterous like Facebook (and Ning) in that users are supposed to be over 13?
Have a look at
http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/infolit/socialnet/

Also I spent some time this weekend quantifying and visualizing the social networks I belong to
... at http://shambles.net/social networks
It was a useful exercise.

Shamblesguru
I used spruz.com this year and like it a lot.
I've been using grouply because of its easy migration from Ning.  I don't like it nearly as much mainly because the way it looks is a bit dinky.  However, it does work very similarly.

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